Paws of Fury, Minions Paws of Fury, Minions

NBCUniversal/Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru crossed the $500 million mark at the box office over the weekend, while Paramount/Nickelodeon’s Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank failed to make an impression.

Paws of Fury only managed to scrape up an estimated $6.25 million at the box office across its opening weekend, despite being screened in 3,475 theaters nationwide. Its theater count was higher than either Top Gun or Elvis, yet both of those films out-grossed the much-maligned animated pic. Audiences have been a bit kinder, depending on where you look. The film currently has a 66% positive score at Posttrak, a 69% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and an A- on CinemaScore.

Perhaps the most damning result of Paws of Fury’s debut is that the film didn’t even manage to meet the opening weekend takes of fellow Paramount animated features Paw Patrol ($13.1 million) and Clifford ($16.6 million), which both released day-and-date on the Paramount+ streaming platform.

Meanwhile, Minions: The Rise of Gru, now in its third week, racked up an estimated $26 million over the weekend, good for second place overall. Only Disney-Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder grossed more, although that film saw a disastrous 68% drop in its second week. The Rise of Gru has now grossed $262.5 million in the U.S. and $532.7 million worldwide.

With Minions still going strong, the latest Marvel movie early in its theatrical run, and big-budget fare like Top Gun and Elvis splitting audiences, questions could be asked about why Paramount chose this week to release Paws of Fury, especially as this fall’s theatrical calendar is alarmingly devoid of family films.

It seems likely that Paramount didn’t expect The Rise of Gru to have the legs it has shown at the box office over its first three weeks. In fact, even the most optimistic expert predictions for the latest Minions movie came up drastically short of the sparkling numbers that Illumination’s latest has been able to achieve.

There are other animated films at the U.S. box office too: Disney-Pixar’s Lightyear continues to limp through its theatrical run. For its fifth frame, it landed in 10th place with $1.3 million over the weekend. It has grossed $115.4M to date, on pace for Pixar’s worst-ever non-pandemic theatrical run.

Just below Lightyear sits indie darling Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, which grossed $575,370 from only 153 theaters ($3,761 per screen). As A24 continues to slowly roll the hybrid stop-motion feature out across the country, that total will rise driven by strong word of mouth. Marcel has received nearly unanimous praise from critics and audiences alike.

Netflix’s The Sea Beast didn’t get a wide theatrical release but did take the top spot on the streamer’s Top 10 list for English-language films worldwide for the week of July 4-10. Viewers spent 33.5 million hours watching Chis William’s nautical adventure film, giving it the most successful first week total of any animated feature on the service this year. The Sea Beast is currently in Netflix’s top 10 films across 92 countries worldwide and sits at number one in 18 countries. One can’t help but wonder what might have been were the film given a theatrical release.

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